A Bored-Mom Survey

Join us, mom or not, in this fun “mom” survey! Enjoy!

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Spicy Garlic Meatballs

With football season approaching, I took to Pinterest to find the perfect recipe. I found some inspiration and ended up making these delicious Spicy Garlic Meatballs! I used a copycat recipe for Buffalo Wild Wings’ Spicy Garlic sauce, and it could not have gone better with this recipe!

For those of you that hate the rambling, you can jump right down to the “How It’s Made” tab to get to the good stuff.

A few years ago, when I was a junior in college, I began my obsession with chicken wings. Guys, it was bad. I would eat Spicy Garlic Wings every day. Let me tell you, it’s not good for the digestive track to eat that much hot sauce, but I couldn’t resist. It also didn’t help that my dad kept supplying my wing desires through Buffalo Wild Wing gift cards.

I would only order Spicy Garlic Boneless Wings from BWW, and I would order them often. There is just something about that garlic-y hot sauce taste that is divine with anything it touches! Not to mention, BWW has some crazy good ranch.

Eventually, I ran out of gift cards, but my addiction lived on. One weekend, while scrolling through Pinterest, I found the pin that changed my life. #dramatic! I found the Copycat Spicy Garlic sauce recipe that I’m going to share with you today. I adapted the recipe to fit my tastes (and my pantry), but if you would like the original recipe by Becky at Love To Be In The Kitchen, you can find it here.

Becky’s wings – don’t they look delicious?

I used this sauce on chicken nuggets, chicken strips, popcorn chicken, as well as actual bone-in chicken wings, but today, I’m putting this sauce on meatballs!

How It’s Made

Of course, I am one for simplicity, so I started with frozen meatballs. Chicken meatballs are the tastiest, but we had beef meatballs in the freezer.

I began by baking the meatballs; you could fry yours, if you would like, but I hate frying foods! It’s just too messy.

As the meatballs were baking according to the package instructions, I began making the copycat Spicy Garlic sauce. This sauce is so crazy easy that it’s not even fair to know how to make it. It’s versatile and easy to use with chicken wings, meatballs, and anything else you can conjure up.

For this sauce, you will need: Red’s Hot Sauce Original, Cayenne Pepper, sugar, black pepper, and vegetable oil.

Throw all the ingredients together and whisk over medium heat until it’s boiling. You’ll simmer for 20 minutes, and then pour the sauce over your meatballs.

This sauce takes a very long time to go bad, so we normally just leave our extra sauce in a mason jar on the counter. We use it up so quickly! You can refrigerate for extra longevity and freeze it if you would like to keep it indefinitely.

Warning: this stuff is spicy!

I like to serve this dish with ranch or blue cheese dressing. If you prefer to make your own ranch dressing, you can follow this recipe by Snappy Gourmet!

Spicy Garlic Meatballs

An easy, quick tailgate food or dinner at home that your family and friends are sure to love!

  • 1 bag frozen meatballs (chicken is preferred but any meatball will work)

Spicy Garlic Sauce

  • 1 c Frank's Ceyenne Pepper Hot Sauce
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°

  2. Place meatballs in a oven safe dish, and bake according to package instructions.

  3. While the meatballs are baking, combine all ingredients for the Spicy Garlic sauce in a small sauce pan, and whisk together

  4. Bring sauce to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer

  5. Simmer for 20 minutes

  6. Once the sauce and the meatballs are both finished, toss the meatballs in a liberal amount of sauce.

  7. Serve immediately with ranch or blue cheese dressing

You might have Spicy Garlic Sauce leftover. This sauce does not go bad quickly and does not need to be refrigerated.

The Perfect Nursery for under $1000

When expecting a new baby, a perfect nursery is almost always on the top of the To-Do List. We painted our nursery, bought furniture, and decorated without breaking the bank. I believe my baby deserves the highest quality items, but sometimes, my bank account won’t allow me to spend as much as I want. I shopped around for awesome products that fit my $1000 budget. Here’s my list!

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Crib – $110

We went with a 4-1 crib by Delta Children Heartland. We chose white, which is elegant and was easy to mis-match other furniture pieces to.

This crib can be a crib, a day bed, a toddler bed, and a full sized bed. For 4 bed options, we could not be happier with the price. It is easy to assemble and very sturdy!

Mattress – $110

We wanted a really high quality mattress that could be used for several years, so we went with the Simmons Brand. We bought the BeautySleep 2 stage crib mattress.

This included a firm side for the infant stage and a plush side for toddlers. We compared this to a $40, lower grade mattress, and the Beauty Sleep held up much better. Cheap mattresses are likely to dip in the middle after little use, and most of them do not have the two stages, which we love. We ended up giving away the $40 mattress after only a few months of having it!

I topped the mattress with the American Baby Company mattress pad cover, and I am using 100% cotton sheets from Burt’s Bees. I love soft sheets, so I wanted my baby to experience the same luxury!

Dresser – $99

We were so lucky to find this South Shore dresser on sale! This dresser has tons of space for baby, and we ended up using the top of the dresser as a changing table. This has saved us more space and hundreds of dollars. To customize the dresser more, you can buy different drawer pulls.

Rocker – $300

Our main colors are gray with accents throughout the room, so we wanted a gray rocking chair to mach. My husband was excited to find a rocking chair that reclined and swiveled, too! We ended up going with the Baby Relax Swivel Gliding Recliner. We love this rocker so much, too! It swivels in circle, which is really nice for reaching different items during feedings or naps.

Baby Swing/Bouncer – $122

Once again, we are bundling items to save space! We love our Swing/Bouncer combo by Graco! There are cheaper options by Graco, but we preferred a swing that is higher off the ground, since we have cats.

Changing Pads and Accessories – $50

I prefer the contoured changing pad by Summer Infant. This pad reduced the likelihood of baby falling onto the floor, and the pad itself attaches to your changing table or dresser to prevent slippage. I also ordered waterproof changing pad covers through Summer Infant, and I topped it off with a decorative changing pad cover through Burt’s Bees. These two things are optional, and many people prefer to go without them.

I hope you found my items helpful when building your own perfect nursery! Good luck and happy parenting!

First Time Mom Products I’m Glad I Splurged On

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Body Pillow

I did not spend big money on a pregnancy-specific pillow. Instead, I bought a long, rectangular pregnancy pillow with a pillow case. I love that I can wash my pillow case with my sheets. This type of pillow saved my so much money! I bought this body pillow by BioPedic and a Jersey Knit pillow case to fit. This pillow case gets softer with each wash.

A long body pillow is great for supporting your growing belly, and it has really helped me with sciatic pain. I tuck the pillow between my legs and sleep soundly.

At-Home Doppler

I use my At-Home Doppler religiously. These dopplers are safe to use every day, and I have found the heartbeat with ease since the 10th week of pregnancy. Without this doppler, I would be living in fear of loss. This has given me so much peace and joy. You can get a Summer Infant At-Home Doppler here.

KT Tape

I use KT Tape to tape up my big belly. It relieves a lot of the pressure off my back. I prefer this to a pregnancy band because it’s not as hot. My pregnancy is during summer, so I like to stay as cool as possible! This tape does not peel off in the shower, so I wear it for days at a time. It never gets smelly either.

Bonus: Baby Moon

Though I did not technically buy a baby moon, I am incredibly happy we went on one! This was our last vacation before the baby will arrive, and it has been so worth it. I enjoyed some quality time with my husband away from the stress of home and work, and I wish I could do it again! While we did not spent tons of money, we really enjoyed getting out of town. If you can, you should do something fun with your special someone! You will not regret it, and you really deserve a treat.

Popular Items I Will Not be Buying my Baby

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I was certain that I would be that first-time-mom that bought everything in sight, but as I continue on into my 2nd trimester, there seems to be a plethora of popular items I do not want my baby to have. Did you have these items for your baby? If so, did you love them or regret them?

Bassinet

My baby will not have a bassinet or a co-sleeper. In fact, the plan is that my baby will sleep in the crib from day one. Am I nuts?

Our house is on the small size, and I don’t want to clutter every room with unnecessary items that the baby will grow out of in no time. For this reason, the bassinet got the boot! If I had a large house, I would probably invest in a bassinet to keep the baby nearby.

If I change my mind, I will probably go with a co-sleeper, rather than a bassinet. I would choose this Baby Delight Co-Sleeper. I really like the adjustable sides and the foldable side, and it can alternate from a bassinet to a co-sleeper.

Diaper Genie

People love Diaper Genie’s, and at times, I wondered if I was making a mistake by avoiding this item. I still stand firm, though! Our baby will not have a Diaper Genie! I don’t like how expensive the replacement bags are, and I don’t see how different a Diaper Genie is from a trash can.

Though I have some experience with the Diaper Genie, I still choose to avoid it because the Genie usually ends up smelling anyway. I would rather save my money. What did you do about diapers?

We plan to buy an outside trash can for diapers only. We will immediately take out a stinky diaper, so we don’t have to have the smells in our house!

If I were going to buy a Diaper Genie, I would get this one. It is inexpensive and large.

Jumperoo

Our baby won’t have one of these, and this is because we don’t have much space. Though a Jumperoo seems like a lot of fun, we will be opting for a walker instead. What do you think? Did your baby love the Jumperoo?

We do want a door jumper, which will give our baby the exercise and fun of a Jumperoo, but the door jumper can be folded up!

Changing Table

We won’t be using a changing table! Are we crazy? Maybe. We plan on just changing the baby wherever we happen to be. I don’t like changing tables because they can’t really be used for anything else in the future.

Play Gym

Just like the Jumperoo, we will be avoiding the Play Gym to save space. Our baby will likely have tons of toys, so we don’t think he/she will miss out on too much with the Play Gym! Did your baby have a Play Gym?

Sound Machine

We will not be buying a sound machine. We do, however, already have an Echo Dot, which we will be using for it’s sound abilities! I would not recommend buying a specific sound machine, simply because it cannot be used for anything else in the future. If you are interested in a multi-use sound machine, you can get an Echo Dot here!

An Honest Review of Amazon’s Most Popular Linenspa Mattress

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Late last year, my husband and I were desperate to get a bigger bed. We jumped in and bought out first mattress in a box: Linenspa through Amazon.

I had done my research, and this bed had raving reviews. We gave it a shot, and for only $300! Here’s my honest review.

At first, I noticed this bed is on the firmer side. I prefer a plush bed, so we purchased a Lucid 4 inch mattress topper to go on the bed. Worth it. We love this mattress topper, and we have one on every bed in our house. I would recommend it every time.

I have a hard time with my back, so I was worried about buying an inexpensive mattress like Linenspa, but this mattress was pretty comfortable! It was an easy transition, and we loved using it!

Based on the reviews, I was concerned about a few things:

-Some reviewers claimed the bed came with bed bugs. We did not have this problem. Our bed was pristine, but we were careful to check before taking the bed inside.

– Some reviewers claimed this bed was too plush. We did not have this issue. My husband was pleased with the level of firmness.

– The mattress takes 24 hours to air up. This didn’t bother me. It was really crammed in that box!

All in all, we loved this Linenspa mattress, and for the price, we couldn’t beat it. We are still using it and nothing has changed 6 months later.

What Was In My Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box

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When I created my baby registry on Amazon, I realized I could receive a free Welcome Box. I had heard mixed reviews, so I decided to tell you exactly what was in my free Welcome Box.

Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Bottle

I received a full sized Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Bottle. We wanted to use these bottles, regardless, so I was so excited to see this bottle in my Welcome Box. These bottles are not cheap, either!

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

In my Welcome Box, I received a really nice Muslin Blanket. Once again, these blankets are not cheap, and, with each wash, they become softer. These Muslin blankets are incredibly popular for moms everywhere.

Pampers Wet Wipes

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I got a full sized pack of Pamper’s Wet Wipes. These wipes are high quality and often used among many families.

Burt’s Bees Onesies

I received 2 Burt’s Bees Onesies. These Onesies are completely organic and incredibly soft! Burt’s Bees Onesies are also high quality, expensive products that I received for free.

MAM Bottle

I received a 5 oz. MAM Bottle in my Welcome Box. We had not considered these bottles before receiving it in the box.

Miscellaneous Samples

Along with these awesome full sized products, I received several samples. I got a pack of 5 size 1 Pamper’s Diapers, baby safe laundry detergent, lotion, baby shampoo and soap, breast pads, and a book full of coupons!


Regardless of the Amazon Welcome Gift, an Amazon baby registry is incredible for distant friends and family members, or anyone with Amazon Prime. It is completely free to create a registry, so all expecting parents out there, create your registry here!

Morning Sickness Remedies that Actually Work

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This is my second pregnancy, so you could say I’m a pro at morning sickness… right? No. Morning sickness continues to kick my butt, and so few people really understand it.

I actually told my boss about my pregnancy today, mostly because I am constantly sick. His response? “Why don’t you just tell someone you’re going to be sick, and we’ll watch your students?” Unless you’ve been pregnant, you do not know the first thing about morning sickness. It is nothing like the stomach bug, which many people like to compare it to, and none of those stomach bug remedies will work for morning sickness.

A few people have suggested I only drink chicken broth until my nausea goes away. Bad idea. I’d starve to death or pass out from low blood sugar. Other suggested I stay home from work until it passes. Sometimes it doesn’t pass for the entire 9 months! So what really works?

Peppermint Oil

I have noticed the Peppermint essential oils really help with morning sickness. I rub a bit of the oil on my wrists each morning, and it has been a game changer! I also have an Oil Diffuser on my desk for when my sickness is especially rough.

Ditch Heavy Preservatives

I have cut down the number of preserved foods that I consume, simply because I can’t keep them down. Most prepackaged foods make me nauseous beyond all reason, like Luna bars. These delicious breakfast bars were a favorite, but now, I can’t stomach them. Instead, I eat cheddar cheese cubes and Wheat Thins.

Carbs and Fats

I had hoped so badly that I wouldn’t gain much weight this pregnancy, but I have found that the only major combat of morning sickness is to snack are Carbohydrates and fatty foods. A few of my go-to’s are peanut butter and saltine crackers and Wheat Thins with cheddar cheese. I’ve noticed, if I don’t snack every 2 hours, I will be puke-y in no time.

Stop Overeating

Guys, I throw up every darn time I overeat. It doesn’t take long, either. I will throw up right there in the parking lot of a restaurant! Instead of eating three large meals, try snacking every few hours. This has helped me enormously!

Don’t Get Too Hungry

This one is my least favorite. If I don’t eat as soon as my body gets hungry, I will upchuck everywhere. Even if my stomach is empty, I will be hurling bile. It hurts, a lot! So I try everything in my power to avoid being hungry too long. Eat breakfast religiously. Moms-To-Be don’t get to skip out on meals anymore.

Over the Counter Solutions

All of my previous solutions are fine and dandy, but sometimes, we need something stronger. Here are a few of my favorite Over the Counter solutions that can really kick your morning sickness out!

Pink Stork Morning Sickness Sweets – these are candies that help soothe your nauseous tummy! Another brand to try is Tummy Drops.

SeaBands for Morning Sickness – This is a band that exerts pressure on pressure points in your wrist. This band has been proven to help with even the worst spouts of morning sickness. It also helps with motion sickness!

Nausea and Tummy Aromatherapy Inhaler – this inhaler is similar to the Peppermint suggestion, but it comes in a small lip-balm sized tube that is great for on-the-go!

Nausea Probiotics – take these supplements every day to prevent nausea before it begins.

Nausea Tea – like the probiotics, this tea is meant to combat nausea before it really kicks in.

If none of these work, you can always as your OB to write you prescription strength nausea medicine!

How I Got Pregnant Quick

Around August of 2018, I found out I was pregnant for the first time! We considered ourselves fortunate to have a baby, but it wasn’t long that we found out we had had a miscarriage.

We struggled for several months with the loss of our baby, but in the past couple of months, we started trying again. These products helped me conceive in both pregnancies!

HerbTheory Female Fertility

I took HerbTheory’s Female Fertility tablets religiously, when trying to conceive. These supplements are meant to encourage conception through natural, Earth ingredients. I took two tablets each morning with breakfast, and I never experienced any side effects.

I am firmly convinced that this supplement helped me get pregnant as quickly as I did. We had tried for months before I tried this supplement, to no avail, but when I started taking these tablets regularly, we fell pregnant that month! This has happened twice now. I highly recommend this dietary supplement to anyone looking to get pregnant.

HerbTheory does make a male supplement, but we did not try it. If you have, I would love to hear about your experience!

You should consult your doctor before ever taking dietary supplements. Not all dietary supplements are safe, and this should never be used in place of Prenatal Vitamins.

EASY@Home Ovulation Tests

I love EASY@Home Ovulation Tests because they are so cheap, and they come in bulk. If you are trying for several months, this pack will be good for you. I never bought ovulation tests at retail stores, like Walmart, because they end up being as expensive as pregnancy tests. Since most women trying to conceive use ovulation tests daily, it is crucial to find an affordable brand.

Tip:
It took me forever to figure out how to use Ovulation tests. If you’re a pregnancy noob like me, I’ll break it down for you! As soon as you have your period, you start taking ovulation test daily with first morning pee. When the test line is as dark and the control line, you will ovulation within 24 hours.

You can get 100 ovulation tests for $17!

Pre-Pregnancy Pack

With my first pregnancy, we did not use the One A Day Pre-Pregnancy Pack, but with this pregnancy, we did. It might not make a huge difference in conception, but I felt like the additional vitamins from “Dad” helped with a good start. I would recommend this to anyone who is trying to conceive.

These are the Prenatal vitamins I take, as well. You can get the single pack here. These are more expensive than some brands, but these vitamins also have more important ingredients like, zinc, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D.

If you do not use this supplement, it’s okay! Just make sure your supplement, contains all the necessary vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.

Tips:

Avoid Ibuprofen, Aleve, or any of NSAIDS when trying to conceive. NSAIDS can temporarily reduce fertility and cause miscarriage in early pregnancy.

Start your pregnancy diet now! No, don’t gorge yourself with ice cream and pickles, but instead, start eating and drinking vitamin rich foods. I started drinking a yogurt smoothie every morning when we were trying. This gave additional calcium that I would need during pregnancy. You also want to cut out alcohol and excessive caffeine. Eat more veggies, too!

Get medical issues sorted out before getting pregnant. I had a herniated disc when I got pregnant. Very few doctors will treat a pregnant woman, and this can make life very hard.

Good luck and happy conceiving!